The Warren County Middle School tennis teams got their seasons started last Friday at McMinnville Civic Center with a match against Shelbyville Middle School.
The Pioneers picked up their first win by defeating Shelbyville 7-5, while the Lady Pioneers dropped a 10-4 decision to the visitors.
Under first-year head coach Susan Barrett, the boys team looked solid, especially in singles. Warren County won six of the eight singles matches against Shelbyville, with Kirkland Sauer picking up two of the victories.
Sauer, playing in the No. 2 singles spot, defeated Jarrett Deason 6-3, then returned later to sweep Seth Ellisbre 6-0.
Eighth grader Jake Hunt won his No. 3 singles match 7-5 to pick up his first win. Daniel Campos followed it up with a 6-4 victory over Connor Roark in the No. 4 match.
Rounding out the boys success in singles was Jared Hutchins winning 6-2 over Sean Hart and J.T. Boyd defeating Brandon Burton 6-3.
Hutchins paired with Gabriel Morgan for Warren County’s only doubles win. Morgan and Hutchins won 7-5 for the Pioneers match-clinching seventh win.
On the girls side, coach Barrett saw her mostly brand-new team compete well against Shelbyville.
Tomomi Yago, one of the few returning players from last year’s team, split her two singles matches during the day. Yago lost the No. 1 singles set against Keeley Smith 7-6, but bounced back to defeat Starla Payne 6-0.
Sixth grader Lauren Hennessee was successful in her middle school debut. Hennessee won the No. 2 singles match 6-3 over Shelbyville’s Kaitlyn Richardson.
Seventh grader Kendal Smith also was successful in her first singles match of the season, defeating Sydney Edwards 6-4 in the No. 4 singles match.
Arenda Kiser, an eighth grader, gave the Lady Pioneers their fourth and final win with a 6-3 victory over Mary Ramirez.
While they were unable to pick up victories, Caitlyn Phillips, Allison Brock, Lyric Armstrong, Stephanie Warner and Liv Newby all had solid performances in their singles matches for coach Barrett’s team.
The Lady Pioneers were swept in their four doubles matches, but the team of Jaimee Hill and Liz Dull, along with the pairings of Chelsea Stewart and Katherine Oxley, Lexi Vance and Allison Mingle and Allison Green and Ali Willmore were very competitive.
Coach Barrett was happy to get the season started, especially with the weather cooperating and the parents making the event a positive experience.
“The weather was beautiful and the kids had a great time,” said Barrett. “I would like to say a big thank you to all the friends and family members who came to support our team.
“It really made a difference and made for a very fun, almost tournament-like atmosphere.”
The Warren County Middle School tennis teams will be back in action this Friday when they travel to Shelbyville for matches. The Pioneers and Lady Pioneers will begin their games Friday at 4 p.m.